DAN BICKLEY

Kyler Murray can begin carrying Cardinals, but they must ante up

Jun 14, 2022, 2:02 PM | Updated: 2:02 pm

Clarity and brevity are important in today’s world. So here goes:

We need Kyler Murray.

We need to believe in him, trust in him, cheer for him. We need him to be great. Starting now.

We need him to make us forget about the Suns, a team that inflicted great trauma on the Valley, a psychological wound that might take years to heal. The Suns made us feel cursed all over again, too small for the big time.

Murray knows exactly how we’re feeling. I know because I ran into Murray after the conclusion of the Suns’ Game 6 in Dallas. He was shaking his head in disbelief.

“That was an a**-kicking,” he said.

We need Murray to be the antidote and the exception, a No. 1 overall pick that must validate our hopes and dreams. He must not become Deandre Ayton, who is the rumored subject of an impending trade.

There are many similarities between Murray and Ayton. Both are incredibly gifted for their respective size. Both are polarizing figures in the Valley. Both come with massive, untapped potential and equally gigantic price tags.

Difference is, the Cardinals must pay Murray. And hope for the best.

That became abundantly clear after the first day of mandatory minicamp, where head coach Kliff Kingsbury was candid, funny and made a heartfelt plea to have Murray in the fold before the heavy lifting begins.

“I’m praying before training camp,” Kingsbury said of the team reaching a contract extension with the quarterback.

Kingsbury earlier declared that the Cardinals were “about to make him, I’m sure, the highest-paid player in franchise history.” But that doesn’t mean the Cardinals are committed to paying a top-of-the-market price that Murray is surely seeking. Hence, Kingsbury’s prayer.

It’s also important because Kingsbury also told the media that Rodney Hudson is missing from camp with an unexcused absence, and that the Cardinals and their star center are working through some issues. Whatever the situation is, it sounds ominous.

Which is why we need Murray to carry the Cardinals, through their flaws and their weaknesses on defense, past DeAndre Hopkins’ six-game suspension. And if all goes well, the Cardinals can unleash the hounds in Week 7, where a trio of Hopkins, Hollywood Brown and Rondale Moore might rank among the most dangerous receiving trios in the NFL.

Kingsbury had all those skill players at his disposal in minicamp on Tuesday, and you could sense his brewing excitement.

Already this offseason, tight end Zach Ertz called Murray the “most talented player I’ve ever been around.”

J.J. Watt said that Murray knows he is a different quarterback and “going to do it his way.” D.J. Humphries accused all skeptics of day drinking.

If you’ve been paying attention, it sounds like a team rallying around their quarterback. Which is a tremendous sign.

We need Murray to make it all happen for the Valley, and he did his part on Tuesday. He worked out with his teammates instead of protesting on the sidelines while waiting for a new contract.

Now, we need the Cardinals to ante up. Before training camp. Just like Kingsbury implored.

Unlike the Suns, they have no options or alibis available.

Reach Bickley at dbickley@arizonasports.com. Listen to Bickley & Marotta weekdays from 6-10 a.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Arizona Cardinals CB Byron Murphy attempts a pass during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray warms up ahead of minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray warms up ahead of minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins warms up ahead of minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray jokes around ahead of minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray jokes around ahead of minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray warms up ahead of minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Tae Daley catches a pass during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Greg Dortch catches a pass during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Antoine Wesley looks on during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker catches a pass during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Rondale Moore runs through drills during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Christian Matthew catches a pass during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Rondale Moore runs through drills during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Christian Blake runs through drills during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown looks on during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown looks on during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray warms up ahead of minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins warms up ahead of minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray warms up ahead of minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals QB Colt McCoy jokes around ahead of minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins warms up ahead of minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins warms up ahead of minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins warms up ahead of minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Leki Fotu runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Rashard Lawrence runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Michael Dogbe runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Marco Wilson runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Marco Wilson runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Antonio Hamilton runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Marco Wilson runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Breon Borders runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CBs Breon Borders (21) and Byron Murphy (7) run through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CBs Antonio Hamilton (33) and Jace Whittaker (39) run through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Byron Murphy runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Antonio Hamilton looks on during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Christian Matthew runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Byron Murphy runs through drills during minicamp on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Dan Bickley

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy speaks at a news conference after an NFL divisional pla...
Dan Bickley

The Valley, even Cardinals fans, should root for the 49ers and Brock Purdy

The Cardinals became the first team in three seasons to miss out on a homefield championship. In their place, we should cheer for the 49ers.
7 days ago
Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort speaks with reporters during his introductory press conference...
Dan Bickley

Cardinals’ hiring of GM Monti Ossenfort is sign of progress, step in right direction

It proves that owner Michael Bidwill is not afraid to open his organization to outsiders, handing a high level of control to a fresh set of eyes.
14 days ago
Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints on the sidelines before the game against the Atlan...
Dan Bickley

Sean Payton is the remedy to Cardinals QB Kyler Murray’s struggles

Imagine what an authentic, innovative, alpha male, Super Bowl-winning coach like Sean Payton might do for our slow-growing franchise QB.
18 days ago
President and owner Michael Bidwill of the Arizona Cardinals before the NFL preseason game against ...
Dan Bickley

Arizona Cardinals’ Michael Bidwill at own crossroads with changes looming

The Cardinals need an overhaul. They need an owner smart enough to look in the mirror and brave enough to step outside his comfort zone.
22 days ago
Dan Bickley

Cardinals can reset by trading high draft pick, DeAndre Hopkins

The Cardinals can secure a top-four pick, trade down and then turn to dealing their elite wide receiver in DeAndre Hopkins to pile up assets.
25 days ago
Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Spencer Brown (79) pauses as Damar Hamlin is examined by medical sta...
Dan Bickley

Bills S Damar Hamlin collapse is latest of NFL’s frightening moments

Monday Night Football halted in one of the most nauseating, stunning, sobering viewing experiences in recent memory.
28 days ago
Kyler Murray can begin carrying Cardinals, but they must ante up